United Kingdom (UK) trademark registration process
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How to register trademark in the UK

Trademarks are no longer exclusively linked to the marketing of a product but represent a value that must be protected as such. For example, trademarks registered in France enjoy protection in France only. If you have decided to market your products in the United Kingdom, you will therefore need to obtain similar protection in the United Kingdom or opt for the registration of a Community trademark.

Without registering trademark in the UK you will not be able to take any legal action against a third party who uses your mark in the UK, nor prevent a third party from registering your mark under their own name and for their own benefit. Finally, it will be more difficult for customs and other authorities to act against counterfeit products.

Registering a trademark may seem like an unnecessary hassle. However, by leaving the company name unregistered, you risk losing it, it can be used, moreover, it can be appropriated by competitors. Trademarks provide essential legal protection, so knowing how to use and register trademark in the UK is a vital step in keeping a business safe.

Trademarks are different. Trademarks differ in semantic load, design. It can be a logo, a picture, a slogan. The main value lies in the fact that a trademark is an essential protection of a company from any unauthorized actions of competitors, fraudsters who intend to benefit from an idea invented and implemented by you. Thanks to a registered trademark, the brand and reputation of the company will be under reliable protection.

The trademark has the special designation "®" or "™". The symbol is written at the end of the logo, after the picture or company name. This sign is a warning about the illegality of copying, the use of a trademark by third parties. It is impossible to put this sign next to an unregistered trademark, such an offense is punishable by law.

When a trademark receives the status of "registered", it becomes property in every sense of the word. Of course, it becomes possible to sell it, or provide a license for use within the framework of royalties.

Each country has an intellectual property agency to administer its intellectual property system. Registering a trademark in the United Kingdom is done with the Intellectual Property Office (IPO - www.ipo.gov.uk).

English law protects both service marks and trademarks, anyone can submit an application but most of the time the applicant uses the services of a specialist (solicitor or Trade Mark Attorney) to file his request.

How to register a trademark in the UK

UK trademark registration process goes through the UK Patent Office (in English - UK Patent Office), which provides the owner of the mark with additional protection in case of violation of rights.

So, how to register a brand in the UK? The process itself consists of 2 stages. The first stage is the formal search for a trademark, which includes:

  • verification of identical or similar marks among those already registered with the Patent Office in an identical or similar class of goods or services;
  • analysis of possible reasons for contesting a trademark registration;
  • checking if your trademark option is included in the list of inappropriate marks in the Trademarks Act of 1994 in the 3rd section.

The second stage is the preparation and filing of an application for a trademark. Application processing time is approximately 6 months.

What are the requirements for trademark registration in the UK? Your application must include the following information:

  1. Trademark details, class, service/product description, and whether it includes a logo.
  2. Information about the applicant. If this is an individual, then his personal data, if a legal entity - detailed corporate information.
  3. If the decision is positive, the Patent Office publishes an announcement in the Trademark Magazine and every Friday on its website for 3 months. During this period, any interested parties may challenge the registration of this trademark in court to stop the process by filling out the relevant documents of the Patent Office.

How easy is it to register a trademark in the UK

Benefits of registering a trademark in the UK are undeniable.

UK trademark registration process allows to:

  1. Protect your business as much as possible. A registered trademark leaves no chance for competitors to take advantage of other people's work and earned reputation.
  2. Simplifies marketing, advertising campaigns, promotions.
  3. Get significant benefits. The trademark automatically raises the value of the business. For example, the Google trademark is worth $44 billion, which is 27% of its total business value as a whole.
  4. Minimize spending on advertising. A trademark already represents a product, acts as an advertisement for a brand, serves as a mark of quality for any products or items on which your trademark appears.

You can register trademark as individual or company in the UK

A trademark can be registered for both an individual entrepreneur and a company. The process of obtaining a trademark in both cases is the same. You must submit the relevant documents to the local authorities and receive confirmation. You can also go through the trademark registration online in the UK.

UK trademark registration search

To find your trademark applications accepted you should check Intellectual Property Office's online trademarks journal - for UK trade marks and international trade marks that include the UK.

UK trademark registration classes

Trademarks are categorised according to their products or services and there are in total 45 recognised trademarks classes, which include every possible product or service imaginable.

The most common reasons for contesting a trademark registration are the assumption that the mark is not unique to the applicant and should be used by all businesses in that class of business, or, the brand name belongs to the disputing party and is identical or similar to the trademark of the applicant.

If no claims to stop the registration are filed, or the court ruled that the claim is unjustified (decision in favor of the applicant for trademark registration), a Trademark Registration Certificate is issued. The validity period is 10 years. After this period, it is necessary to renew the trademark registration.

UK trademark registration certificate proves that you have intellectual property rights.

UK trademark registration cost

The first question that an entrepreneur is interested in is how much does a trademark cost in the UK:

UK trademark registration price depends on the assessment type you choose:

  • Standard: the expense is £170, it's non-refundable and payable in advance.
  • Right start: it costs £200 altogether, yet you just need to pay £100 forthright. In case your application is dismissed for some reason, your sunk cost is just £100.

For both, if you've added different classes, it's £50 extra for each class. It depends on you, but have you done everything right, your trademark application ought to be handled with no issues.

As for UK trademark registration fees, it costs £200 for the first class of goods or services your trade mark is in, and £50 for each extra class.

UK trademark registration timeline

The decision to assign a trademark is made by the UK Patent Office. This organization guarantees the protection of the owners of registered trademarks in case of infringement of their rights.

Registration is presented in two stages:

  1. Selection and verification of the trademark. The brand is checked for compliance with a certain class of goods and services, the repetition of the trademark is excluded.
  2. The second stage is filled with formalities. The applicant must file an application to the Patent Chamber on the possibility of registering a trademark. The application is submitted in the standard form. The following information should be indicated: class and description, brand information, the presence or absence of a logo. We also need information about the applicant, his personal or corporate information. Particular attention should be paid to the literacy of the document.

The application for registration is considered for a long time - almost 6 months.

If the decision is positive, the Patent Office will notify you by e-mail. The mark is registered for 10 years, then, if necessary, the registration is subject to renewal.

You can reduce the number of classes at the time you renew.

You also have to pay a late renewal fee if you're applying in the 6 months after your trade mark's expiry date. The fee is £50.

UK trademark registration renewal

Trademarks must be renewed every 10 years.

So when your trademark has expired you may wonder: how do I renew my trademark in the UK?

You can renew a trademark in the 6 months before it expires and up to 6 months afterwards.

You cannot renew online if your trade mark expired more than 6 months ago. You might still be able to restore your trade mark by post.

Conclusion

In a competitive environment, protecting the uniqueness of business activities is one of the most important steps for further development. Thanks to the development of information technology and the publication of information on the Internet, more and more data becomes the subject of the public, therefore, competitors can easily take advantage of your reputation. Therefore, registering a trademark will protect the trade name and simplify the process of conducting an expensive advertising or marketing campaign.

To ensure that registration of a trademark in England does not bring inconvenience and hassle, entrust the solution of this problem to professionals. If required additionally, we will help to register a company in the UK, select the optimal form of ownership, and provide tax planning services.

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